Our initiatives aim to support young people in contact with the youth justice system:

  • with the right mix of services at the right time
  • to build thriving and connected communities
  • to reduce crime.

The initiatives are based on evidence of what works in reducing youth crime.

The outcomes we work toward are:

  • a decrease in youth reoffending
  • breaking entrenched criminal behaviour
  • young people having an improved connection to their family, kinship and culture
  • reducing overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the youth justice system
  • addressing the concerns of community and victims of crime.

Alcohol and other drug services

The Program for Adolescent Life Management (PALM) is an evidence-based program created from research by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. It is delivered by the Noffs Foundation.

PALM's purpose is to reduce the impact of alcohol and drugs as a factor contributing to offending.

Services include:

  • cognitive behavioural therapy in individual and group settings
  • education and training
  • a family program
  • incentives for behaviour change
  • aftercare.

The residential care model provides young offenders with a physically and psychologically safe place while they address factors that contribute to their offending.

PALM services:

  • keep young people connected
  • strengthen young people's connections
  • reconnect young people
  • heal young people's connections.

This initiative is in early establishment phase. We expect it to be available in 2022-23.

Bail support services

Bail support services are delivered together with legal advocacy, in partnership with statutory Youth Justice services. They provide:

  • court advocacy and support to young people
  • case management to young people on bail
  • after hours support and call outs (when required) including watch house visits
  • connection to/use of local community resources.

Bail support services aim to:

  • provide individualised support to young people and their families that is designed to help young people meet their bail conditions
  • support young people to successfully complete bail
  • reduce remand rates (the proportion of young people held in detention without a sentence)
  • achieve a medium to long term reduction in offending behaviour.

Bail support services strengthen young people's connections and reconnect young people.

Community youth response and diversion

The Community Youth Response (CYR) provides a culturally appropriate, alternative intervention to police charging and/or remanding young people in custody.

Its purpose is to reduce the number of young people in watchhouses or detention.

CYR delivers a range of services in Townsville, Cairns, Ipswich and other parts of Queensland.

Services are locally driven and coordinated to deliver the best response for each location. They include:

  • after hours services to help police divert young people toward support, instead of charging or remanding them in custody
  • case management via intensive support to young people and their families, to improve behaviour and reduce offending
  • bridging support and alternative education options for young people who have disengaged or are at high risk of disengaging from education and are not yet suitable to return to or engage with alternative or mainstream schooling (Bridging to Flexischool)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural mentoring support with a trusted adult mentor who helps the young person have a better understanding of their history and kinship, so they develop a more positive cultural identity.

CYR keeps young people connected and strengthens their connections.

Family-led decision making

Read about family-led decision making for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their families.

Intensive bail initiative

The intensive bail initiative (IBI) is a key component of targeted reforms that aim to:

  • address serious youth offending
  • extend programs and services showing positive results in steering young people away from offending behaviour.

The IBI will be delivered across 5 trial locations:

  • Brisbane North
  • Caboolture
  • Gold Coast
  • Logan
  • Townsville.

A Townsville response is yet to be established.

Services include:

  • intensive bail support including after hours and on weekends
  • family support via the Intensive Family Partnership that focuses on in-home assistance to improve stability and safety, healing relationships between family members as a practical intervention to ensure young people with complex and extreme needs meet their bail conditions
  • enhanced coordination and connection of after hours diversion and community-based services through the community based co-responder.

The IBI strengthens young people's connections, reconnects young people and heals young people's connections.

On Country

Read about the On Country program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

Queensland youth partnership initiative

Queensland youth partnerships initiative (QYPI) is a community partnership with:

  • retailers
  • youth services
  • security officers
  • police.

It delivers a range of youth focused crime prevention and diversionary activities such as:

  • sport
  • art
  • music.

QYPI aims to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in shopping centres.

QYPI services keep young people connected.

Specialist counselling services

Specialist counselling services deliver assessment and counselling services to young people aged 10 to 17 years of age who are found guilty of sexual offences.

The purpose of the specialist counselling services are to:

  • reduce reoffending by young people found guilty of a sexual offence
  • provide courts with specialist assessment and treatment plans to assist with decisions when sentencing young people found guilty of a sexual offence
  • improve the safety and wellbeing of young people, their families and significant others
  • improve the safety and wellbeing of people harmed by the offence, and their families and significant others.

Specialist counselling services heal young people's connections.

Young offender support services

Young offender support services deliver intensive support and case management to young people and their families. The support aims to reduce offending behaviour and is:

  • community-based
  • culturally safe
  • trauma informed.

Support services include:

  • help with transport to court and other appointments
  • locating young people to reduce risk of failure to attend court
  • helping young people to engage with community agencies
  • working with the young person's family and/or significant others to help them address their needs and issues
  • supporting young people and families to connect/re-connect to their culture
  • engaging in restorative justice processes where required.

Young offender support services aim to support young people to:

  • be accountable for their behaviour and encourage connection to the community
  • get involved in pro-social activities with their families
  • improve their family relationships, with:
    • positive connections to culture, family, kin and community
    • increased skills and knowledge (communication, problem solving, parenting).

Young offender support services reconnect young people and heal young people's connections.

Specialist multi-agency response teams

Specialised multi-agency response teams (SMART) work together to support young people who have been to court.

Each multi-disciplinary team includes people from agencies such as:

  • Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training
  • Queensland Health and Hospital and Health Services
  • Department of Education.

They can also include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural support people and other organisations who will help the young person.

SMART agencies and organisations work together with the young person on an action plan to help them stay out of trouble with the law.

More information

To find out more:

Last updated 15 May 2022

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